So last week, I started writing about our adventures in Lithuania and what an excellent beginning we had.
As much as I love the “other” Eastern Europe, I had never been to that part of the region before.
Oops! Did I say Eastern Europe.
Friends tell me that saying the forbidden word “East” is likened to putting a noose around your own neck and pulling it.
Being that Vilnius, and therefore, Lithuania is in an unknown part of the world, it stands to reason that it’s food and drink culture would be similar so.
I love writing about food although I’m not that much of an eater, I talk far too much to actually eat anything and as for drinking, I’m such a light-weight, it’s a British disgrace!
I do like to try things out and taste things for myself.
Here’s some food posts of the past.
- As you recall, I’ve written about German food in-depth and the results were pretty surprising.
- I have also been on a food walking tour in Berlin. The first time I’ve ever done so and again what a day of delicious moreness!
THE CZECH REPUBLIC:
- You know how Prague is so beautiful and romantic? Well, I didn’t go there! I went skiing in the Czech mountains instead and had just the most amazing rustic Czech food!
- Because Dutch cheese, french fries and mayo. Amsterdam baby!
- My first ever press trip was last year. To France! Yes, France! And did I stuff myself with French delights? I sure did!
- We went to Thailand last year and were just amazed by all the Thai street food. It was fantastic and cost like 20-40 cents a piece!
- Some of you know that I have a nut allergy and I can’t cook so we decided to go further and register at a Thai cookery school!
- And then we went to Poland and we just couldn’t get enough of the fish, sausages and pierogi! Oh my!
- Afternoon tea, treacle pie and custard. Ooooo! How to really be British!
- People see London as really expensive, but it doesn’t have to be as you can actually have three (3) very nice meals a day for under £25 or $30 a day! Yes, really!
- You can have haggis, tatties and neeps anywhere in Scotland. Go on, I dare you!
- And as for whisky. You can’t say you’ve been to The Highlands if you haven’t been to a whisky distillery and had a bit of the ole firewater!
So now that you know how exciting I find food posts, here comes the food table of Lithuania!
A LITHUANIAN BREAKFAST:
As you know, we were in a B&B so we had a home-made breakfast on a daily basis of pancakes with home-made blueberry, strawberry, and apple jam with cream, yogurt and slices of fruit, And you could have as much as tea and coffee as you wanted.
Cost – Nothing at all. It came with the bed!
A LITHUANIAN STARTER:
We were told that in Lithuania, and in pretty much all the Baltic States, a plate of “beer food” is pretty standard when ordering or waiting for your meal to arrive. In Europe, not ordering an alcoholic drink is considered quite weird and let me tell you, when I lived in Prague in the 90’s, beer was cheaper than water!
You heard me.
Beer was cheaper than water!
They’ve changed that now and made it.
Drum roll please……..
The same price!!!
Remember how I told you that we had lunch at the Independent Republic of Užupis – a bohemian community of artists – located on “the other side of the river.” Well, they have a really nice and enormously cheap restaurant called Užupio kavinė.
So the beer food above was a plate of fried bread with cheese and mayonnaise sauce.
The bread was pretty oily but honestly, it really did the job of wetting one’s appetite as it was quite crunchy too, and the mayo was kind of sweet! I think we even ordered a second plate!
Cost – €2.00.
We also had soup.
Oooooh! You know how much I like soup. This was home-made garlic soup with a dollop of cream in the middle of it, and sprinkled with dill!
Cost – €1.30
Just look at those traditional zeppelini’s with a meat filling.
A zeppelini is a type of dumpling and a traditional Lithuanian dish. This particular zeppelini came with a small bowl of bacon pieces and sour cream. How juicy and succulent they must be!
I’m not a fan of dumplings as they tend to be made out of potato…! Anyway, we found this dish in a really nice place that quite a lot of people had said not to go to because, and I quote, “It’s full of tourists!” I’m afraid that these dishes were so attractive that I quite forgot the restaurant name, but if I find it, I’ll let you know!
Hardly anybody tends to see the irony of places “full” of tourists and the fact that we tend to add to that number. Even worse, when visitors are lucky enough to find the more “authentic” places, they’re upset when the service staff either cannot, or refuse to speak English.
I mean, why should they?
Do you really expect a plastic table, plastic chair, food place in the middle of say, China, that is “authentic” to speak English, German or Russian?
Let’s be honest. Do you?
Back to the food.
Those dumplings according to “The Tall Young Gentleman” were divine.
And the cost at such a “tourist” place – €3.95!
I’m so sorry about the lighting but I just had to show you this platter of traditional assorted Lithuanian snacks served with home-made Lithuanian bread. It was a huge platter of Lithuanian aromatic cheeses surrounding a pot of strong local honey, slices of cured meats, slices of pear, oranges, and lemons, bite-sized vegetables, pickled onions, Feltsalad, and chives, scattered over with local cranberry seeds. It was really delicious and made for two people. I would have loved to link the restaurant but somehow, the food was so alluring that I can’t find the buisness card of the restaurant. If I do, I’ll let you know later!
Cost – €11.00.
LITHUANIAN MAIN DISHES:
We went on a free walking tour organised by Vilnius With Locals, and even though It was snowing and freezing cold, we stayed on right until the end! We were very much rewarded as our tour guide introduced us to a local place for lunch, where we had our very first original, authentic Lithuanian food. The place was called Būsi trečias and what a place it was.
We were all so excited to try out food from the region and so “The Tall Young Gentleman” ordered pigs ear.
And he so wished he hadn’t!
It came in a frying pan and was served with potato pancake and a sort of bacon and spring onion white sauce.
I don’t need to tell you much as you can already see how chewy it looks. It tasted chewy too but “The Tall Young Gentleman” was a true gentleman and tried his best to man up and eat it!
Cost – €5.50.
The Music Producer being German decided to go for a dish called “The Bremen Town Musicians.” It was a pile of pork, beef and chicken, layered by potato pancakes, some white sauce, and a side salad accompanied by a tomato and an olive!
Cost – €7.50.
I admit that my meal does look yucky but it tasted delicious! It was a serving of baked potatoes stuffed with herring, mushrooms, onions, mayonnaise and sour cream, sprinkled with dill.
Cost – €1.74. Yep! you heard me.
In the previous wonderful “tourist” place I mentioned to you earlier, I had a plate of Lithuanian crispy pork steak that was served with a curly swirl of yummy mashed potatoes, red cabbage, coleslaw, cucumber, and covered with mushroom sauce. It was delicious and so utterly filling I was only able to “manage” a cocktail or two in the evening LOL!
Cost – €5.35.
We weren’t able to manage having dessert but the local drinks more than made up for our “third” course!
For those of you who prefer not to drink the usual and quite boring “soft” drink, you could go for a local drink filled with honey or kvass which is a fermented beverage usually made out of black or rye bread!
Be careful though as I constantly had to check that “non-alcoholic” drinks actually contained no alcohol.
Europe is quite liberal over that type of thing as beer is not considered alcohol in the real sense of things and moreover, our son looks much older than he actually is. I mean, the last time we went to Italy, we went to a fancy pâtisserie and he was served a slice of lemon cake. Filled with rum!
I was so angry, and they really couldn’t see why.
Our son was 10 years old at the time!
Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!
Cost – €1.75.
I don’t drink dark beers but my husband does and the dark god is pretty awesome in this part of the world. He said!
There was always a large variety of different Lithuanian beer.
Cost – €2.00.
I do of course drink lagers, champagne and very good vodka. I’m so sorry about the quality of the picture. Again, I have put it in because the way it was served was really interesting.
We were fairly stuffed after champagne and wine and to round the evening up, the waiter suggested a shot of Lithuanian liquor served in blocks of ice!
That’s right. Ice.
And you had to be quick about it too as the ice tended to melt as soon as it had some contact with warmth.
It wasn’t a problem LOL!
Cost – €3.50.
Well, that’s it. I told you Vilnius in Lithuania was cheap. So what are you waiting for?
We received a part-complimentary-part-discounted stay on our B&B but all opinions and the lovely Lithuanian vodka and shots that I totally consumed, are my very own!
I have so much to share with you.
Next week, I’ll be writing about the old town of Riga in Latvia. Get reeeeeeeeady!
After that, there will be a food post about Latvia too and our experience in Tallinn in Estonia with the help of the Tallinn Card, what the view was like on the ferry crossing from Estonia to Finland with TALLINK SLJA LINE and what we thought about Helsinki in Finland!
International Games Week Berlin 2015 is a leading cross-industry communication and networking platform for games businesss, development and culture, and will be taking place between April 21-26, 2015.
I’ll be going to TBEX Europe (Travel Bloggers Exchange) an International Networking Conference, for the first time! It’ll be taking place in Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain from 30.04.15 – 02.05.15.
Strictly Stand Up English Comedy Night will be taking place at the Quatsch Comedy Club on 29.04.15.
Eddie Izzard will be back in Germany and will be front-lining a killer international night of comedy at the Admirals Palast on 08.05.15.
The Berlin Music Video Awards will be taking place from May 27.05.15 – 30.05.15. Anybody can apply!
The Berlin Fashion Film Festival will be taking place on 05.06.15.
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in April, you’re going to miss the delight of Spring!
April is going to be bright and warm.
Watch this space!
Have you ever had a potato pancake? Would you eat a pig’s ear?
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